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UK: towards local elections. Boris Johnson’s fate hangs in the balance according to political analysts Travers and Hobolt

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson, hard hit by the Downing Street partygate scandal during the pandemic, risks losing flagship councils like Westminster, which are at the heart of the UK’s political power, in the upcoming local elections on 5 May. This is according to political analysts Tony Travers and Sara Hobolt who spoke at a meeting with the foreign press at the London School of Economics. Next Thursday, 4,000 councillors are to be elected in London, Leeds, Manchester, Birmingham, and in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. “Right now, most polls give the Labour Party a lead over the Conservatives with 40% of the vote to 34%, and Boris Johnson is no longer a major asset for his party. Unfortunately, there is no alternative at the moment”, the experts said. “Seats in the poorest areas of northern England, the so-called ‘Red Wall’ constituencies, lost by the Labour Party and won over by Boris Johnson in the 2019 general election, are of utmost importance. If the Labour Party regains these constituencies, then the MPs representing these constituencies may no longer want the current prime minister”. “Also, the victory of the SNP in Scotland would be a further step towards independence. Likewise, if Sinn Fein, the party seeking reunification with the Republic of Ireland, were to win in Northern Ireland – as polls suggest -, another piece of the UK may be lost”, the analysts concluded.

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